Global payments network Visa Inc. has announced that it will allow its clients to use the dollar-pegged and Ethereum-based USD Coin (USDC) stablecoin to settle transactions on its network.
The transactions will be settled over the world’s second-largest blockchain ecosystem, Ethereum, in a move that makes Visa the first major payments network to settle transactions using the USD Coin. To enable this, Visa is piloting a program with its partner and popular Hong Kong-based Crypto.com exchange to avail the option later in 2021 to clients and additional partners.
“Working with Anchorage, the first federally chartered digital asset bank and an exclusive Visa digital currency settlement partner, Visa has launched a pilot program that allows Crypto.com to send USDC to Visa to settle a portion of its obligations for Crypto.com Visa card program.”
Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of crypto said that the move was necessitated by increased worldwide demand for crypto from its clients.
“We see increasing demand from consumers across the world to be able to access, hold, and use digital currencies and we’re seeing demand from our clients to be able to build products that provide that access for consumers.”
Accelerating Mainstream Crypto Adoption
Visa has been working to develop a pathway that will enable transaction settlements in crypto using the existing infrastructure of its treasury. According to VP and CPO Jack Forestell, crypto-based firms are looking for partners who are well conversant with the digital currency infrastructural needs.
“The announcement today marks a major milestone in our ability to address the needs of fintechs managing their business in a stablecoin or cryptocurrency, and it’s really an extension of what we do every day, securely facilitating payments in all different currencies all across the world.”
Crypto.com’s co-founder and CEO, Kris Marsazalek said that the exchange has experienced tremendous growth in the last year and will continue working with partners who are also interested in taking cryptocurrencies mainstream.
“Having been a Visa partner for several years, we’re excited to deepen that relation through our global agreement and to pioneer an exciting world-first in stablecoin payments.”
Similar announcements from some of the world’s largest financial institutions like BNY Mellon, Mastercard, BlackRock Inc, and SBI Holdings have sparked positive predictions about the future of cryptocurrencies in investment portfolios.
Visa And Crypto.Com: Mutually Beneficial Partnership
The announcement also comes barely two weeks after Crypto.com declared its global alliance partnership and Principal Membership with Visa, aimed at accelerating global crypto adoption using the crypto.com Visa Card. The exchange already offers its users 8% in cashback for transacting with the Visa Card.
“The crypto.com Visa is already the largest Visa card program of its kind, currently available in the US, Canada, 31 countries in Europe and in APAC.”
The exchange allows its user base of over 10 million, to trade more than 100 different cryptocurrencies in more than 90 countries and earn rewards for staking.
USDC was launched in September 2018 by the peer-to-peer payment company CIRCLE. Both its technical and financial standards are managed by CENTRE, a consortium launched by CIRCLE to oversee USDC’s policies.